Fortnite might not be in the App Store anymore, but that doesn’t mean kids aren’t still playing it. As long as it was downloaded before Apple removed it in August 2020, the game has been able to be played but no longer receives updates.
Now Epic is doing something about it. The game maker has announced that on January 30, the v13.40 version of Fortnite on iOS will become inaccessible to players under 18. That’s because the version doesn’t use the current version of Epic Online Services, which includes parental controls, purchasing defaults, and parental verification features. Epic says restricting the app is its “only option” since Apple won’t let them submit a proper update.
The company is also disabling the ability to spend V-Bucks. Apple banned Fortnite from the App Store after the company set up an alternative payment option for V-Bucks. Apple doesn’t allow any third-party payment systems for in-app purchases or links to outside stores within games.
On December 31, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent a cryptic tweet declaring “Next year on iOS!” with no explanation, which could be a reference to the rumors that Apple will be opening iOS 17 to third-party app stores.
The two companies are currently involved in a lawsuit over Apple’s 30-percent fee and “anti-competitive” App Store terms. Epic lost the first round but appealed.